“Initially, we did a self-guided history tour brochure for Harlan and Franklin counties. During the course of that, our historical society and museum director, Ernie Kuhl, showed me the stone house and told me the legend — and it’s more than legend — that the stones had been stolen from a nearby stone figure of a man,” Harlan County Tourism Director Pat Underwood said.
The stones for the house are believed to have been taken from a nearby American Indian stone artwork that was approximately 25 feet long and depicted a man holding a spear or medicine lance and a shield and wearing a medal around his neck.
Underwood said a topographical officer with the U.S. Calvary wrote about the monument in 1869, and a reporter with the Omaha Bee newspaper described it in 1875.
“People knew about it and had heard the legend,” Underwood said. “It is kind of part of local history, especially for anybody who paid attention to history.”
“All the old-timers, especially over in that area by Orleans, were aware of it. The stone house has a lot of history behind it,” Tourism Committee Chairman Dave Fleischmann said.